Leaving for UK SOON!

Jul 8th, 2004, 12:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2
Leaving for UK SOON!

My husband, 18 yr. old daughter and I are leaving for Scotland very soon. We will be traveling first in England. We have that part of our trip planned, but we are in desperate need of advice for the Scotland part of our trip. Our plans keep changing as we read more and now we've got way too much for a week trip. We will be in Scotland the beginning of August.

I've been reading all of your itineraries and advice to eachother and I KNOW we have too much planned for our week. So, I am back to the drawing board. We don't have accommodations yet so our trip is still flexible. I'm assuming going without accommodations planned is not a good idea.

We are thinking that we will take the train from London up to Scotland and then rent a car. We will have to get back to London for our flight back to the states.

We'd really like to go to Skye, if we can manage it with our time. We would also like to take the train in Fort Williams, which we've heard is wonderful. Beyond that everything in Scotland sounds great - how do we choose????

I'd love to hear your recommendations for our week trip. Thanks
Last_Minute is offline  
Jul 8th, 2004, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Give us a bit of a clue... what do you like?

Would it help if we editted your prepared itinerary (Evil laugh
sheila is offline  
Jul 8th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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Without knowing exactly what your family "wants" to see (ie. scenery, castles, gardens, etc) it is difficult to advise.
The main thing on "any trip" is not to try & rush around trying to see every sight there is. Stop & smell the roses, as they say. After 4 trips now to Britain, I find I prefer to choose one or two areas, and concentrate of those locations. I just like to "base" myself in one location, then thoroughly explore a new region each day.
However, in your case, train trip to Edinburgh, then after the usual sightseeing of that city, rent a car & take the M90 out of Edinburgh to Perth (motorways are good to use when you want to make up time), then onto Pitlochry (whisky distilleries in the area, together with nice waterfalls), not far away on the A827 is Aberfeldy, and Kenmore (pretty village). After leaving Pitlochry, travel up to Fort William, stopping en-route to see Blair Castle, then to see Ben Nevis, but most of all drive up "Glen Nevis" (just beautiful countryside). From Fort William, you can drive up to Isle of Skye. Then when returning south again, drive down EITHER, Oban & Isle of Mull, or through Crianlarich & Tarbet, the latter route bringing you through the HIghlands, and Rannock Moor, then as you approach Loch Lomond, you can either take A82 down beside Loch Lomond, or A85 & A84 to Callander, then down through the Trossachs.
You can return to Edinburgh either via Stirling, or around Glasgow, getting onto the M8 to go across to Edinburgh, to return your hire car. This trip allows you the opportunity to see the Highlands, castles, waterfalls, quaint villages, Lochs, and Isle of Skye.
I'm not sure if you can fit it into one week, but then the Scottish country roads are good and generally little traffic. I always stay in B&B's in Scotland, just so homely, and great local advice. I found Nationwide B&B service, to be extremely good. They will send you a book, which shows photos, details, prices, etc, about each property.
tropo is offline  
Jul 8th, 2004, 02:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Thank you Sheila and tropo -

Yes, of course you need to know what my family likes!

Well, we love to travel and discover new and unfamiliar sights. As you said tropo, for us traveling is getting the "feel" of the place we are in and we do like to "smell the roses."

That said, we are looking to combine touring the castles, scenery, the coast, and Edinburgh. We'd like to include some walks/hikes, although not too rigorous which would mean an hour or two.

We had been thinking in a general way of heading west to the coast, then the Jacobite train in Fort Williams, Skye, over to Inverness and down to Edinburgh.

As I've read all the recent postings, particularly that of ms_go, I think we are planning too much territory to avoid being in the car the entire trip.

Last_Minute is offline  
Jul 8th, 2004, 03:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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In general, a week is enough time to see a couple of areas of Scotland or maybe 3 if you rush a little. It is easier if you stay 2 or 3 nights in a couple of places instead fo moving every night. But staying put does not cut the number of things you can see - it actually increases your sightseeing time. If you choose a couple of bases you can see tons of things w/i a days drive and not have to pack every day and move on.

One problem you face is finding accomodations in Edinburgh in August. Things tend to book up months ahead and those that aren't full -- there is probably a reason.

So you might consider doing Edinburgh as a day trip from somewhere else. For instance Edinburgh is a short train ride from Stirling, Perth, or Glasgow, and a reasonable drive from each of those plus St Andrews, the Trossachs etc.

So you could take the train up to Glasgow and pick up your car there. Travel north to see some of Argyll and Skye for a 2 or 3 days then wander SE back through Glencoe and the Trossachs. You could stay 3 days somewhere west of Stirling and use this as a base for the Trossachs, Stirling Castle, "Braveheart/Rob Roy country", lochs, etc, and a day trip into Edinburgh.
janis is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Our trip is now starting to finally take shape and it is similar to yours. We are taking the train from London to Glasgow.

We will rent a car there and then drive north a bit and stay 2 nights. Still trying to find a room for this - either in Fort Williams or nearby.

Then we will go to Skye for two nights. Staying at the Uig Hotel.

Next we drive up to Inverness - we will be visiting my husband's family "castle" We'll be staying in Inverness one night.

Next we will drive down from Inverness to Edinburgh, probably staying overnight on the way.

Then two nights in Edinburgh. We are desperately trying to find a place in Edinburgh. None of my inquiries have been successfu!

We then will fly back to london for our flight home to the states.

Wondering if anyone has any ideas for this itinerary or suggestions. We especially are in need of accommodation for Edinburgh.

Thanks in advance for any advice out there!
Jul 12th, 2004, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
This late you will have a difficult (very) time finding accomodations for August in Edinburgh. And most will have a 3 or more night minimum.

Instead of trying to find this needle in a haystak, you have better luck staying elsewhere those 2 nights. Then you can do a day trip into Edinburgh by train.

If you stay near Stirling (Callander, Aberfoyle, Doune, Dunblane, Port of Menteith, etc), or between Perth and Edinburgh (Glenfarg, Kinross, etc) then you can see some good scenery/castles and take a train to Edinburgh.
janis is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 04:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Same advice I gave Chloe. Take teh train to Fort William overnight. Take the Jacobite to Mallaig. Hire a car there.

The spend a couple of days on Skye.

Come across to the East and spend a couple of days in Moray and Deeside, then aim for Edinburgh.

Skye will let you walk in the Quiraing or just about anywhere. Speyside and deeside have some lovely walks- Abernethy or Rothiemurchus forests, the Linn of dee or Glen Tanar, and you can pick up any of a couple of dozen castles in those areas

Does that appeal?
sheila is offline  

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